DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Water agencies pushing for bigger role in Delta tunnels plan; Biologists say Delta fish recovering from drought; With a lot of help, chinook salmon return to the San Joaquin River; and more …

In California water news this weekend, Water agencies pushing for bigger role in Delta tunnels plan; Biologists say Delta fish recovering from drought; With a lot of help, chinook salmon return to the San Joaquin River; The Oroville Dam crisis was a good thing for these people; Sites Reservoir: Bond proposal must be ready in August; White water rafting: A matter of life and death; Over 100 million dead trees pose wildfire threat in California; Conservation bills advance to Senate; Wild and Scenic Rivers bill becomes two-year bill; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Water agencies pushing for bigger role in Delta tunnels plan:  “California’s powerful regional water districts are working alongside Gov. Jerry Brown to take on more responsibility for designing, building and arranging financing for a $15.7 billion twin tunnel project that would ship water southward from Northern California as they push to finally close the deal on the controversial plan, two officials working closely on the project told The Associated Press.  Talks among Brown’s office, state agencies and the water contractors have been under way since May that could lessen the state’s hands-on role in one of California’s biggest water projects in decades, according to the two sources, one a senior official involved in the project, the other an employee working closely on the project. ... ”  Read more from the Fresno Business Journal here:  Water agencies pushing for bigger role in Delta tunnels plan

Biologists say Delta fish recovering from drought:  “On a recent early morning on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a team of biologists from U.S. Fish and Wildlife boarded a small boat and motored-out past power plants and decaying docks — dragging fishing nets along predetermined routes to catch and record which fish were in the area.  It’s a ritual they perform seven-days a week during much of the year — serving as eyes and ears for one of the nation’s most important waterways. … ”  Read more from NBC Bay Area here:  Biologists say Delta fish recovering from drought

With a lot of help, chinook salmon return to the San Joaquin River:  “In California’s Central Valley, dusty dry riverbeds fill with water that for decades has been diverted for farmers and cities. Hatchery-reared salmon – bred with taxpayer funds – are being reintroduced in hopes of rebooting ancient populations that disappeared in the 1940s, casualties of California’s ceaseless search for new water sources. The San Joaquin River, the state’s second largest, is primed for its comeback.  After the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin is California’s most important river. It provides some of the state’s largest agricultural operations with water as it stretches north from Fresno before finally emptying into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta – the source of drinking water for an estimated 25 million Californians. ... ”  Read more from Courthouse News here:  With a lot of help, chinook salmon return to the San Joaquin River

The Oroville Dam crisis was a good thing for these people:  “The helicopters alone cost more than $100,000 a day at one point. Weeks of dredging debris ran to more than $22 million. And on the day after the massive evacuation, as the crisis was peaking, the state spent $3,902 on breakfasts and lunches for emergency workers.  The fracture of Oroville Dam’s main flood-control spillway created a near-catastrophe, spawned multiple investigations and left lawmakers and locals grumbling about the state’s stewardship of the structure. One group isn’t complaining, though: the dozens of concrete and gravel contractors, trucking firms, engineering consultants and others that have been paid millions to help the state clean up the mess. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  The Oroville Dam crisis was a good thing for these people

Sites Reservoir: Bond proposal must be ready in August:  “The plans to build a new reservoir near Maxwell have been a long time in coming. At this point, 30 agencies throughout the state are on the list to help pay for planning efforts and later receive a share of an estimated average yield of 500,000 acre-feet of water.  The next step is to apply for partial funding through Proposition 1 funds, the statewide water bond approved in 2014. Within the $7.5 bond amount, $2.7 billion is set aside for water storage projects. … ”  Read more from the Oroville Mercury-Register here:  Sites Reservoir: Bond proposal must be ready in August

White water rafting: A matter of life and death:  “Lt. Kevin Kemmerling has been with Tulare County Sheriff’s Department’s Swiftwater Dive Rescue Team for 15 years — he now leads the team.  Last year, he responded to his first commercial rafting rescue.  This year, over Memorial Day weekend, deputies with the swiftwater rescue team were called to the Kern River by commercial rafting companies three times for nearly a dozen rescues. … ”  Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here:  White water rafting: A matter of life and death:

Over 100 million dead trees pose wildfire threat in California:  “A tiny pest is turning lush forests into tinderboxes.  More than 100 million dead trees in California are blamed on years of drought and an epidemic number of tree-eating bark beetles.  It’s a dramatic transformation. ... ”  Read more from CBS Bay Area here:  Over 100 million dead trees pose wildfire threat in California

Conservation bills advance to Senate:  “Three water conservation bills – AB 1654 (Rubio), AB 1668 (Friedman) and AB 1323 (Weber) –advanced to the Senate this week and now await assignment to a Senate policy committee. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  Conservation bills advance to Senate

Wild and Scenic Rivers bill becomes two-year bill:  “ACWA-opposed AB 975 (Friedman), which seeks to significantly expand the scope of the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, has become a two-year bill. AB 975 stalled in the Assembly after the author, Assembly Member Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), chose not to bring it up for a vote on the Assembly floor before the June 1 “House of Origin” deadline. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  Wild and Scenic Rivers bill becomes two-year bill

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Who will pay for what Corcoran levee:  “Now that a massive project to raise a flood protection levee around Corcoran is almost complete, who’s going to pick up the estimated $11 million tab?  That question could move one step closer to being answered Tuesday.  The Kings County Board of Supervisors is holding a public hearing to receive public comment on a proposed assessment roll for property owners in the Cross Creek Flood Control District, which is responsible for the protective levee around Corcoran. … ”  Read more from the Hanford Sentinel here:  Who will pay for what Corcoran levee

Debate over OC desalination plant focuses on the intake’s toll on eggs and the outflow’s briny impact:  “The protracted debate over Poseidon Water’s proposed ocean desalination plant in Huntington Beach was renewed this week when the State Lands Commission released a draft report analyzing planned additions meant to reduce potential harm to marine life and increase the plant’s efficiency.  The supplement to a 2010 environmental impact report addresses the possible effects of a screen and diffuser added to the intake and outflow pipes, respectively, that would be used by the $1-billion desalination facility proposed at Newland Street and Pacific Coast Highway. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Debate over OC desalination plant focuses on the intake’s toll on eggs and the outflow’s briny impact

Private water panel meetings continue apace, despite detractors:  “San Diego County Water Authority directors have met behind closed doors more than three times a week on average since the start of the year, putting the agency on pace to surpass last year’s tally of gatherings that critics say could run afoul of open-meetings laws.  U-T Watchdog reviewed payroll records — the only documentation available for the meetings — and found that directors appointed to the 36-member board were paid to attend 55 private meetings through the end of April. That’s 10 more than were held over the same time period in 2016 — a year in which board members held more than 100 meetings out of public view. ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  Private water panel meetings continue apace, despite detractors

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About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

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where California water news never goes home for the weekend

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